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Grim Dawn: Necromancer Build Guides for Beginners

Updated on October 23, 2017
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Arc is a motivational speaker, linux system administrator, computer programmer, and most importantly, hardcore gamer.

Copyright Crate Entertainment
Copyright Crate Entertainment

Necromancer has always been epic in any RPG games. Since Crate Entertainment announce this class, it has been the most awaited mastery in Grim Dawn just like the necromancer class in Diablo 3.

Most builds that you will encounter in this article focuses on pets since Necromancer has always been know to summon allies. As a general rule in playing a pet build. The pets will take care of dealing damage to enemies. Your primary job is to keep yourself alive and to re-summon any pets that has fallen in battle.

By the way, in case you don’t prefer pet builds. This article also contains reference for non-pet types of build.


Note: Recommended Devotions are not in order. Meaning, it is up to you what constellation you should learn first. Just in case you don’t know, devotion points can also be re-assign in order to meet certain requirements.

When it comes to gear components, resistance to different damage types should be the priority for your character to survive on higher difficulty.


Pet Cabalist Variant 1 (Necromancer + Occultist)

Our 1st pet build focuses on full power of necromancer’s pets, plus buffing it with Blood of Dreeg.


Attributes

Defense is your main priority here, since your pets will take care of dealing damage for you, 90% or 95% of your attributes should be placed on physique.

You should still put points on spirit to be able to equip high level enchanted items.

Don’t bother to put attributes on cunning. Unless you are planning to equip something that requires cunning.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)

Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Master of Death (12 points)

Call of the Grave (10 points)

Mark of Torment (3 points)

Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)


Occultist Skills

Mastery Bar (32 points)

Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of Guardian (12 points)


Devotion

Jackal

Eel

Panther

Lion

Raven

Shepherd’s Crook

Empty Throne

Bysmiel’s Bonds

Staff of Rattosh

Typhos, the Jailor of Souls

Behemoth

Rattosh, the Veilwarden


Equipment Priorities

Use equipment that grants bonuses to your pets especially the one with plus to pet’s All Damage. Equipping items that lets you summon more pets is also a good idea.

It all comes to personal preference if you want to equip caster’s off hand for cool down reduction or shield for better defense.


How to play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.

Also, never forget that you have Blood of Dreeg to buff and heal the whole group.


Pet Cabalist Variant 2 (Necromancer + Occultist)

This build variant lets you summon pets from both necromancer and occultist mastery, plus buffing them with multiple toggled skills that increases their damage.


Attributes

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (4 points)

Summon Blight Fiend (16 points)

Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Master of Death (12 points)

Call of the Grave (10 points)


Occultist Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Summon Familiar (16 points)

Summon Hellhound (16 points)

Bonds of Bysmiel (1 point) – Manipulation (12 points)


Devotion

Jackal

Lion

Raven

Shepherd’s Crook

Sailor’s Guide

Eel

Panther

Empty Throne

Bysmiel’s Bond

Staff of Ratosh

Behemoth

Dying God


Equipment Priorities

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.


How to play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.


Dark Mage Cabalist (Necromancer + Occultist)

A non-pet cabalist build that majorly deals vitality damage with some chaos damage. Also, this build has great survival capability because it has a lot of attack damage converted to health.


Attributes

Spend 60% or 75% of your points on spirit. Then the rest on physique. You may also put some points on cunning if you want more offensive ability.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (15 points)

Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (12 points)

Harbringer of Souls (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Reaping Strike (10 points)

Mark of Torment (1 point)


Occultist Skills

Mastery Bar (40 points)

Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Consecrated Blade (3 points) – Second Rite (12 points)

Sigil of Consumption (12 points)

Doom Bolt (12 points)


Devotion

Gallows

Sailor’s Guide

Eel

Jackal

Bat

Empty Throne

Toad

Wendigo

Affliction

Typhos, Jailor of Souls

Dying God


Equipment Priorities

Get gear with bonus affix to Vitality damage and Chaos damage.


How to play?

Sigil of Consumption and Doom Bolt on long range.

Siphon of Souls when surrounded by melee to midrange.

Bone Harvest for dealing damage on multiple enemies on a straight line.


Grim Reaper (Necromancer + Nightblade)

For those who wants to play like a Grim Reaper, I believe this is one of the closest build that you can get. Grim Reaper is a melee type build that can deal heavy amount of damage while converting percentage of it to health.

Tip: To look exactly like a Grim Reaper, refer to an illusionist to transform your 2 hand weapon into a scythe of your choice. Then your head armor into hoodie of your choice. And finally, your chest armor into a robe of your choice.


Attributes

Since this build is a melee type, having high amount of physique is your main priority. Spirit is your next priority because your main attacks are magical damage. Getting some cunning is also a good choice for better offensive ability.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Bone Harvest (16 points) – Harvester of Death (1 point) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (10 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Harbringer of Souls (12 points)

Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)

Reaping Strike (10 points)

Necrotic Edge (10 points)

Mark of Torment (2 points)


Nightblade Skills

Mastery Bar (20 points)

Shadow Strike (1 point)

Pneumatic Burst (12 points)

Blade Barrier (10 points)

Anatomy of Murder (12 points)


Devotion

Lion

Gallows

Bat

Toad

Wendigo

Behemoth

Typhos, the Jailor of Souls

Kraken

Affliction

Rattosh, the Veilwarden


Equipment Priorities

For damage types, vitality, vitality decay, and aether are your top priorities. Cold and physical are secondary choices.


How to play?

To survive in melee, don’t stop attacking enemies so that you can continuously recover your lost health.

I put a single point on Shadow Strike so that you have the ability to dash quickly from one enemy to another.


Range Blade Reaper (Necromancer + Nightblade)

This range build’s damage balances physical and magical while converting portion of it to health.


Attributes

For this hybrid build, spend 25 or 30 points on cunning, and another 25 or 30 points on spirit, then the remaining points on physique.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Harbringer of Souls (12 points)


Nightblade Skills

Mastery Bar (40 points)

Phantasmal Blade (16 points) – Frenetic Throw (1 point) – Heart Seeker (12 points)

Blade Trap (12 points) – Devouring Blades (12 points)

Pneumatic Burst (12 points) – Breath of Belgothian (1 point) – Shadow Dance (12 points)

Blade Barrier (12 points)

Anatomy of Murder (12 points)


Devotion

Assassin’s Blade

Gallows

Bat

Empty Throne

Toad

Crane

Blades of Nadaan

Wendigo

Affliction

Unknown Soldier


Equipment Priorities

Equip gears that increases damage to vitality, pierce, or bleeding. It is also advisable to equip a caster’s off-hand for energy regeneration and cool down reduction.


How to play?

Your primary damage dealing skill is Phantasmal Blades. Use it like your normal attack. Then cast your blade trap whenever available especially to hold off melee enemies.


Pet Death Knight (Necromancer + Soldier)

Having Soldier’s Field Command provides good damage and defense buff to both your pets and party.


Attributes

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)

Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Master of Death (12 points)

Call of the Grave (10 points)

Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)


Soldier Skills

Mastery Bar (32 points)

Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)

Menhir’s Will (4 points)

Military Conditioning (3 points)


Devotion

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.


Equipment Priorities

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.


How to play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.


Grim Death Knight (Necromancer + Soldier)

This is a variant of Grim Reaper build. Grim Death Knight is a good choice for those who prefer better toughness.


Attributes

Refer to Grim Reaper build.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Harbringer of Souls (12 points)

Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)

Reaping Strike (10 points)


Soldier Skills

Mastery Bar (32 points)

Blade Arc (16 points) – Clean Sweep (1 point) – Laceration (12 points)

Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)

Menhir’s Will (9 points)


Devotion

Refer to Grim Reaper build.


Equipment Priorities

Your main damage type priority for this build are vitality, vitality decay, then aether.

Once you reach level 94, it is mandatory to equip Howl of the Wendigo. What it does is, it converts your Blade Arc’s physical damage into vitality damage making it suitable for this build.


How to play?

Refer to Grim Reaper build.

Regarding what skill to learn last, choose Blade Arc as last priority since it won’t deal that much damage for this build until you get How of the Wendigo.


Pet Ritualist (Necromancer + Shaman)

Contains the full force and abilities of necromancer’s pets plus having Summon Briarthorn with its Ground Slam. One thing I like about this build is that both Briarthorn’s and Blight Fiend’s area of effect skill can easily wipe out mobs.


Attributes

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)

Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)

Reap Spirit (16 points)

Master of Death (12 points)

Call of the Grave (10 points)

Bone Harvest (16 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)


Shaman Skills

Mastery Bar (20 points)

Summon Briarthorn (16 points) – Ground Slam (12 points)


Devotion

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.


Equipment Priorities

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.


How to play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.


Life Drainer Ritualist (Necromancer + Shaman)

This is a midrange mage type build that wields multiple attack damage converted to health skills.


Attributes

Same as Dark Mage Cabalist.


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Drain Essence (16 points) – Hungering Reach (12 points) – Decomposition (12 points)

Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (12 points)

Harbringer of Souls (12 points)

Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)

Mark of Torment (4 points)


Shaman Skills

Mastery Bar (40 points)

Devouring Swarm (16 points)

Wendigo Totem (12 points) – Blood Pact (12 points)

Mogdrogen’s Pact (12 points)


Devotion

Same as Dark Mage Cabalist.


Equipment Priorities

Choose gear that increases vitality damage.


How to play?

Learn Devouring Swarm first. It’s the best skills to choose for leveling up on early game.

This build is generally a midrange build. But you don’t have to worry about taking some damage, because all of this build’s offensive skills can convert attack damage to health.



© 2017 Arc Sosangyo

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